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A poem from Brian Beatty

How Faith Works
by Brian Beatty

My granny always tithed

what remained of her
Social Security check at the end

of each month to a few
of her favorite radio evangelists

— to help them reach out across
the AM airwaves

to touch more souls
with their holy healing powers.

But I never saw her seal one cent
into an envelope

addressed to any of those
charlatan TV preachers

she watched just as religiously
on a black-and-white set

balanced in the window ledge

of her rent-controlled
senior citizen apartment —

no matter how often
they asked for her prayers.

“You wouldn’t see Lord Jesus
prancing around the front of a church

in a fancy suit like that fool’s,”
she told me more than once.

“Not up in my idea of Heaven,
you wouldn't, anyway.”

How her gold brick
of President Reagan’s

government-issue cheese
turned blue in the back of her fridge

I remember now, too.

Bio: Brian Beatty was born and raised in Brazil, Indiana. He received his undergraduate degree, in English Language and Literature, from Indiana State University in Terre Haute. His jokes, poems and stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications around the world, including The Bark, Conduit, Dark Mountain, Gulf Coast, Hobart, McSweeney’s, The Moth, Paper Darts, The Quarterly, Seventeen and Urthona. His poems and stories have also been featured in a variety of public arts projects. Brian has attended writing conferences at Ropewalk and Indiana University. Brian now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he sometimes performs as stand-up comedian and storyteller.